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Products > Echeveria x imbricata
 
Echeveria x imbricata - Hens and Chicks
   

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Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Succulent
Family: Crassulaceae (Stonecrops)
Origin: Mexico (North America)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Red & Yellow
Bloomtime: Spring/Summer
Synonyms: [Echeveria 'Imbricata']
Parentage: (Echeveria secunda x E. gibbiflora 'Metallica')
Height: <1 foot
Width: <1 foot
Exposure: Sun or Shade
Summer Dry: Yes
Deer Tolerant: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 20-25° F
Echeveria x imbricata' (Hens and Chicks) - This popular and vigorous succulent has 4 to 8 inches wide, tight rosettes of flat grey-green leaves that, when mature, form offsets freely to form large solid clumps that are 4 to 6 inches tall. It has a branched arching inflorescence bearing clusters of red and yellow flowers in the spring and early summer. Plant in full sun, even in hotter inland gardens, to part sun/light shade where it looks a bit more lush in a well-drained soil and water occasionally to very little. It is one of the hardiest of the Echeveria, tolerating short durations of temperatures down to 20 degrees F. In the past we have listed this plant under the name Echeveria 'Imbricata' as this was how the plant was listed in Eric Walther's landmark book Echeveria (California Academy of Sciences 1972) and in Rudolpf (Lorraine) Schulz and Atilla Kapitany's Echeveria Cultivars (Schulz Publishing 2005). This made sense as there seemed to be only one plant in the trade under this name, a hybrid cultivar created in the early 1870's by Jean-Baptiste A. Deleuil of Marseilles (Rue Paradis) that resulted from crossing Echeveria secunda with E. gibbiflora 'Metallica' (sometimes listed as E. gibbiflora var. metallica) that was listed for the first time in his 1874 catalogue and the name was published this same year in the Belgique Horticole. This plant was described in an article by Harry Butterfield titled "Echeverias for the Fancier" in the March/April 1954 journal of the Cactus and Succulent Society of America as the commonest "hen-and-chicken" in gardens. This is still true to this day, which speaks to its durability and attractiveness. More recently there has been considerable confusion regarding this name since several addition plants, with apparently similar parentage, have come on the horticultural scene. We began seeing plants labeled Echeveria x imbricata 'Blue Rose' around 2010 and received this 'Blue Rose' in overseas orders of laboratory produced plants ordered as 'Imbricata'. Further confusing this is a reversion of the variegated Echeveria 'Compton's Carousel' that is also being marketed now by some just as Echeveria x imbricata. The International Plant Names Index (IPNI) a collaboration between the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, the Harvard University Herbaria, and the Australian National Herbarium, lists Echeveria × imbricata as a valid name for a hybrid between Echeveria secunda with E. gibbiflora 'Metallica' so we have decided to list all of these using this name with the addition of a cultivar name so that we can differentiate the forms we have in our nursery and will list the original plant we have grown since 1979 as Echeveria x imbricata and listing the 'Blue Rose' form as 'Blue Rose' and the 'Compton Carousel' reversion as Echeveria 'Imbricata' and a form called Echeveria x imbricata 'Gray Swirl'. Since we now have also seen from the vegetative reversions of 'Compton Carousel' that it is of this same parentage, we similarly list it as Echeveria x imbricata 'Compton Carousel'. The genus Echeveria was named to honor Mexican botanical artist Atanasio Echeverría y Godoy in 1828 by the French botanist Augustin Pyramus de Candolle (DeCandolle) who was very impressed with Echeverría's drawings. Echeverría had accompanied the the Sessé and Mociño expedition (led by Martin de Sessé y Lacasta and Mariano Mociño Suárez de Figueroa) while exploring Mexico and northern Central America and had produced thousands of botanical illustrations. The genus Echeveria is a member of the large Crassula family (Crassulaceae), which has about 1,400 species in 33 genera with worldwide distribution. Echeveria, with approximately 180 species, are native to mid to higher elevations in the Americas with the main distribution in Mexico and central America but with one species found from as far north as southern Texas and several species occurring as far south as Bolivia, Peru and possibly Argentina. The book "The genus Echeveria" by John Pilbeam (published by the British Cactus and Succulent Society, 2008) is an excellent source of information on the species and "Echeveria Cultivars" by Lorraine Schulz and Attila Kapitany (Schulz Publishing, 2005) has beautiful photos and great information on the cultivars and hybrids. It has been argued by some that the correct pronunciation for the genus is ek-e-ve'-ri-a, though ech-e-ver'-i-a seems in more prevalent use in the US.  This description is based on research and observations of this plant as it grows in our nursery, in our nursery garden and in other gardens that we visit. We also incorporate comments received and appreciate getting feedback of any kind from those who have any additional information about this plant, particularly if they disagree with what we have written or if they have additional cultural tips that would aid others in growing Echeveria x imbricata.
 
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